Thursday, August 27, 2009

Request for Prayers: Manny Arejola RIP

Received from an email:

Dear Friends,

One of Pro-Life apologists, Manny Arejola passed away this morning. Wake is at Don Bosco Makati.

As a sign of camaraderie, please extend your financial assistance to Manny's family. They are not well off. They need our help. This is the time to do good works!

For our USA/Canada friends, please extend your help. Your $20-100 can go a long way.

If you can go to Don Bosco Makati and pay your last respect to our dear friend, please do so. If logistics is a problem, please ... call (632) 723-4326 and look for Lerma at Totus Bookstore for details.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Reform of the Reform has begun

Translation From Rorate-Caeli, comments and emphasis are mine:

ROME The document was delivered to the hands of Benedict XVI in the morning of last April 4 by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It is the result of a reserved vote, which took place on March 12, in the course of a "plenary" session of the dicastery responsible for the liturgy, and it represents the first concrete step towards that "reform of the reform" often desired by Pope Ratzinger. The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity (These abuses are always justified for pastoral concerns but as a priest friend said, these are not pastoral concerns but concerns of the pastor! Abuses due to the false sense and interpretation of "active participation." MANY Eucharistic celebration has become nothing more than a "worldy", secular celebration devoid of the sense of the sacred. For starters, just say the black and do the red.). They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth. (The norm has NEVER been communion by the hand even in the ordinary form.) There is, it is true, and indult which, on request of the [local] episcopates, allows for the distribution of the host [sic] also on the palm of the hand, but this must remain an extraordinary fact. The "Liturgy Minister" of Pope Ratzinger, Cañizares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly. (Another totally forgotten norm. Priests and faithful today are confused as to what is THE center of the celebration. Many of the abuses and wild experimentation began when the priest faced the people as it created a void as to WHO should be the focus of attention. Many priests as they face the people eye to eye try to fill this void by injecting their personality in the Holy Sacrifice, becoming performers, talk show hosts rather than sacred ministers, again all in the name of "pastoral concerns" and "active participation." Who is the center? One should immediately recall the words of sacred scripture "...for whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes." As we proclaim the Lord's death on the cross it is imperative that the crucifix should be the center, the focus of the celebration, to remind us that the sacred action unfolding at Mass is a SACRIFICE, the sacrifice and death of our Lord on the cross. Furthermore, the priest facing the people, especially during the Eucharistic Prayer leaves a bad impression that the priest and the faithful are praying to each other. In the Eucharistic Prayer, the priest is not conversing to the people, but it is a prayer to God, it is directed towards God, therefore it is necessary that the priest face God instead of the people to highlight this principle. In the past, liturgy and theology are solidly fused and never separated...Lex Orandi Lex Credendi.)

Those who know Cardinal Cañizares, nicknamed "the small Ratzinger" before his removal to Rome, know that he is disposed to move forward decisively with the project, beginning in fact from what was established by the Second Vatican Council in the liturgical constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium, which was, in reality, exceeded by the post-Conciliar reform which came into forceat the end of the Sixties. The porporato, interviewed by monthly 30Days in recent months, had declared regarding this: "At times change was for the mere sake of changing from a past perceived as negative and outdated. (What was sacred then is sacred now! Many in the Philippines think the same way due to the strong influence of liturgists in favor of everything that is new: creative, inculturated and a false sense of "active participation.") Sometimes the reform was regarded as a break and not as an organic development of Tradition."

For this reason, the "propositiones" voted by the Cardinals and Bishops at the March plenary foresee a return to the sense of sacredness and to adoration, but also a recovery of the celebrations in Latin in the dioceses, at least in the main solemnities, as well as the publication of bilingual Missals - a request made at his time by Paul VI - with the Latin text first.

The proposals of the Congregation, which Cañizares delivered to the Pope, obtaining his approval, are perfectly in line with the idea often expressed by Joseph Ratzinger when he was still a Cardinal, as it is made clear his unpublished words on the liturgy, revealed in advanced by Il Giornale yesterday, and which will be published in the book Davanti al Protagonista (Cantagalli [publisher]), presented beforehand at a congress at Rimini. With a significant nota bene: for the accomplishment of the "reform of the reform", many years will be necessary. The Pope is convinced that hasty steps, as well as to simply drop directives from above, serve no good, with the risk that they may later remain a dead letter. The style of Ratzinger is that of comparison and, above all, of example. As the fact that, for more than a year, whoever approaches the Pope for Communion, have had to kneel down on the kneeler especially placed by the cerimonieri.

Perhaps it is high time that the priests study and appreciate liturgy in light of how it was celebrated for centuries and the theology behind it and compare it with how it is celebrated today so that they will discover for themselves what was lost: a beautiful and dignified liturgy that ultimately leads to the SENSE OF THE SACRED. Bishops, priests and faithful shouldn't be intellectual slaves of liturgists whose only orientation is to form new rites...sometimes impromptu, who false sense of "active participation," who have no sense of beauty, who are clueless of what proper rubrics are, especially those that highlight the SENSE OF THE SACRED. Perhaps such liturgists are also confused. This confusion has to END, they should all look towards the crucifix and listen to Rome for the right direction.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Interview with Mons. Domenico Bartolucci on the liturgical reforms and the reform of the reform.

Mons. Domenico Bartolucci, Maestro Perpetuo of the Sistine Chapel under five Popes.

Was the reform not done by people who were conscious of what they were doing and well educated in the teachings of the Roman Church?

I beg your pardon, but the reform was done by arid people, arid, arid, I repeat it. And I knew them. As for the doctrine, Cardinal Ferdinando Antonelli himself, once said, I remember it well: “How come that we make liturgists who know nothing about theology?”


But how could it have come to this twisting of the liturgy?

It became a kind of fashion. Everybody talked about it, everybody “was renewing”, everybody was trying to be like popes (tutti pontificavano) in the wake of sentimentalism, of eagerness to reform. And the voices that raised themselves to defend the two thousand year old Tradition of the Church, were cleverly hushed. There was the invention of a kind of “people’s liturgy” … when I heard these refrains, it came into my mind something which my professor at the Seminary used to say: “the liturgy is something given by the clerics to the people” (“la liturgia è del clero per il popolo”). It descends from God and does not come up from the bottom. I have to admit, however, that this foul-smelling appearances have made themselves a bit more rare. The young generations of priests are maybe better than those who came before them, they do not have the ideological fury of an iconoclastic ideology, they are full of good feelings, however they lack in education.

My dear Monsignor, the influence of these kind of liturgists is very strong in the Philippines. i.e. they advocate people-centric and/or inculturated liturgies, who think that the only way for people to actively participate is to celebrate the mass as reformed in 1970's in a very different way from how the church celebrated in the past 2000 years and they even hold key positions in the dioceses.

Complete Interview here at Rorate-Caeli: A bombshell of an interview. Mons. Domenico Bartolucci on the liturgical reforms and the reform of the reform.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cardinal Arinze warns against false concepts of Inculturation and Liturgical Idiosyncracies

I was informed through email a news bit in Catholic Culture regarding Cardinal Arinze's encouragement of Eucharistic Adoration and reverence while warned the bishops against FALSE CONCEPTS ON INCULTURATION and LITURGICAL IDIOSYNCRACIES. Priests and parish and diocesan liturgists who keep on invoking inculturation to justify their "creativity" or should I say "creations" by inserting pagan and new age rituals, or by replacing the rubrics with their own, for example, SHOULD OUGHT TO LISTEN as well. The Pope is NOT inculturating Rome with the encouragement of ad orientem masses and use of traditonal vestments, what he is doing is, in fact, UNIVERSAL, CATHOLIC.

My lord bishops of the Philippines start with the regular Sunday TV masses where they have turned the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass into a show.

August 17, 2009

Cardinal Francis Arinze, who served as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 to 2008, warned the bishops of Asia in an August 16 homily against liturgical “idiosyncracies” and false conceptions of inculturation. Cardinal Arinze also sounded a cautionary note against liturgical dance.

Preaching in Manila at the closing Mass of the plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, Cardinal Arinze-- Pope Benedict’s special envoy to the meeting-- encouraged Asian bishops to foster Eucharistic adoration and reverence:

Adoration manifests itself in such gestures in genuflection, deep bow, kneeling, prostration and silence in the presence of the Lord. Asian cultures have a deep sense of the sacred and transcendent. Reverence in Asia to civil authorities sometimes shows itself in clasped hands, kneeling, bows, prostration and walking away while facing a dignitary. It should not be too difficult to bring and elevate this cultural value to honour our Eucharistic Jesus. The fashion in some parts of the world of not installing kneelers in churches should not be copied by the Church in Asia.

After praising Asian cultures’ sense of the sacred, Cardinal Arinze warned against false conceptions of inculturation and urged observance of liturgical norms.

The way in which Holy Communion is distributed should be clearly indicated and monitored and individual idiosyncracies should not be allowed. In the Latin Rite, only concelebrating priests take Holy Communion. Everyone else is given, be the person cleric or lay. It is not right that the priest discard any of the vestments just because the climate is hot or humid. If necessary, the Bishop can arrange the use of lighter cloth. It is altogether unacceptable that the celebrant will opt for local dress in the place of universally approved Mass vestments, or use baskets, or wine glasses to distribute the Holy Eucharist. This is inculturation wrongly understood.

“It is the tradition of the Church that during the Mass the readings are taken only from Holy Scriptures,” Cardinal Arinze continued. “Not even the writings of the Saints or Founders of Religious Orders are admitted. It is clear that the books of other religions are excluded, no matter how inspiring a particular text may be.”

Cardinal Arinze exhorted the continent’s bishops to follow the Church’s norms for liturgical inculturation, so that “the local Church will be spared questionable or downright mistaken innovations and idiosyncracies of some enthusiastic cleric whose fertile imaginations invents something on Saturday night and whose uninformed zeal forces this innovation on the innocent congregation on Sunday morning.”

“Dance in particular needs to be critically examined because most dances draw attention to the performers and offer enjoyment,” he continued. “People come to Mass, not for recreation but, to adore God, to praise and thank him, to ask pardon for their sins, and to request other spiritual and temporal needs. The monasteries may be of help in how graceful body movements can become prayer.”

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

To the queen and mother of the Philippine Republic.

The greatest Filipina that ever lived! You have lived the full life of a true Catholic, a true Christian. To declare you a national hero falls short to what you really are: SANTO SUBITO CORAZON AQUINO!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Requiem Mass for President Corazon Aquino

A sung requiem mass according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite (Traditional/Tridentine Latin Mass) for President Corazon (Tita Cory) Aquino will be offered by Fr. Michell Joe Zerrudo on Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 1:30 PM at the Parish of the Lord of the Divine Mercy, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

President Corazon Aquino Dies

A sad day for the whole Philippines as her former President Corazon C. Aquino passed away of cardio respiratory arrest early this morning at 3:18 am, August 1, 2009 after battling colon cancer for more than a year. She was 76.

Corazon C. Aquino was not only once the President of the Philippines, as she, being just a simple housewife prior to her presidency, became her mother, reminding her successors of their responsibilities and duties to the people, reminding her fellow Filipinos the gift of freedom and reminding them, more importantly, their relationship with God.

In 2004, she composed a prayer for a happy death. This was published recently in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Almighty God, most merciful Father
You alone know the time
You alone know the hour
You alone know the moment
When I shall breathe my last.

So, remind me each day,
most loving Father
To be the best that I can be.
To be humble, to be kind,
To be patient, to be true.
To embrace what is good,
To reject what is evil,
To adore only You.

When the final moment does come
Let not my loved ones grieve for long.
Let them comfort each other
And let them know
how much happiness
They brought into my life.
Let them pray for me,
As I will continue to pray for them,
Hoping that they will always pray
for each other.

Let them know that they made possible
Whatever good I offered to our world.
And let them realize that our separation
Is just for a short while
As we prepare for our reunion in eternity.

Our Father in heaven,
You alone are my hope.
You alone are my salvation.
Thank you for your unconditional love, Amen.

Requiem aeternam dona eis nomine Domini et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in Pace.